The Thai authorities are reportedly not rushing to push a retail-oriented central bank digital currency (CBDC). Bank of Thailand’s Governor explained the country has numerous alternative payment options.
The Need to roll out a CBDC is not That High
Thailand has been among the nations willing to introduce a CBDC. In 2020, the country’s central bank said it will test how the financial product interacts with local businesses. Moreover, Vachira Arromdee – Assistant Governor of the Bank of Thailand – said the institution plans to expand the usage of the CBDC to the general public.
At the end of last year, the authorities unveiled their intention to use the national digital currency as an alternative payment option to cash. However, the endeavor was to pass some experiments, rescheduled for the end of 2022.
According to a recent local report, Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput – Governor of the central bank – is satisfied with how Thailand’s current retail banking network functions. He claimed, “the need to roll out a CBDC is not that high.”
The official reiterated the bank’s plans to run its trials on the financial product during Q4, 2022. The initiative will be supported by monetary organizations and private consumers who will conduct withdrawals, deposits, and fund transfers.
Suthiwartnarueput further noted that domestic investors who trade digital assets through registered platforms will be eligible for a 7% VAT exemption on their transactions. The program will run from April 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023, and it aims to stimulate the usage of authorized crypto exchanges.
Crypto in Thailand Banned as a Payment Method
The Asian country has a rather controversial approach to the digital asset industry. Last year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) intended to design a utility token called the TAT coin. The product would enable the transfer of vouchers and help tour operators gain greater liquidity. It would also aim to attract crypto owners who can settle in the Land of Smiles and stimulate its economy after the COVID-19 pullback.
Despite the sympathy displayed towards the TAT coin, Thailand is not so supportive of cryptocurrencies like BTC and altcoins. Last month, the authorities warned they could harm the financial network. As such, their usage as a means of payment was prohibited as of April 1, 2022.
However, trading and investing in crypto remains allowed, which is good news for the numerous domestic HODLers. According to a Bloomberg coverage, Thais own over $3 billion worth of digital assets.